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A Volcano In The Philippines Has Started To Spew Lava. 500,000 People Live In The "Danger Zone."

Authorities have warned of an "imminent hazardous eruption" from Taal volcano.

Posted on January 13, 2020, at 8:21 a.m. ET

Pacific Press / Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge

Taal is the second-most-active volcano in the Philippines.

Lava has begun spewing from a volcano in the Philippines, as authorities warned of an “imminent hazardous eruption.”

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that “weak sporadic lava fountaining and hydrovolcanic activity” had been observed at the crater of Taal volcano, which is situated on an island in a lake around 45 miles south of the capital Manila.

Lava fountain from Taal Volcano Main Crater @3:20AM

On Sunday, a giant plume of ash was sent up by the volcano, blanketing nearby areas and leading to all flights in and out of Manila airport to be suspended.

The alert level has been raised to 4, out of a maximum of 5, indicating the possibility of a hazardous eruption within days. Authorities in the surrounding state of Batangas have declared a “state of calamity,” which signifies major disruption.

Phivolcs is calling for a total evacuation within 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) of Taal volcano's danger zone — according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), that amounts to almost 500,000 people.

A time-lapse video of Taal Volcano, located in Batangas province, taken on 12 January when volcanic activity intensified and generated a tall steam-laden column of up to 15 km with volcanic lightning and wet ashfall that reached Metro Manila. (Video credit: I. Brinas-Pamintuan)

More than 24,000 people are currently taking shelter in evacuation centers, OCHA said.

These pictures show the aftermath of the eruption and how people are responding.

Pacific Press / Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge

Taal began spilling volcanic ash on Sunday, prompting nearby communities to be evacuated.

Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

A bird sits on a roof covered with ash in Talisay, Batangas.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Local residents look on as Taal continues to erupt on Monday.

Social Media / Reuters

Heavy ashfall is seen in Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Taal volcano lies in the middle of a volcanic lake.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Local towns have been blanketed in thick layers of ash.

Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

Almost half a million people live in the volcano's danger zone.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Patients wait at a public hospital after the volcano erupted.

Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

A family living near the volcano moves to safety in Lemery, Batangas City.

Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

A dog left behind in Talisay, Batangas, following the eruption.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.